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Archive for ‘Technology’

Google’s Legal Agenda

Well Google has been the subject of many Slaw comments, but it’s on the legal side that it’s hit the news recently.

It won an important decision before Justice Eady of the English High Court in which the court held that Google was not liable as a publisher of defamatory comments when comments made in an internet forum about Metropolitan International Schools, a British company that operates Internet-based training courses, surfaced in the top rankings of a Google search for the company. Of course now the Schools’ highest hit is Eady’s judgment.

“When a snippet is thrown up on the

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Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Legal Information, Substantive Law, Technology, Technology: Internet

Petition to Improve PACER

I’m currently at the American Association of Law Libraries‘ annual conference in Washington, DC. One of the things speakers have been talking about is lobbying being done to make PACER more accessible. The PACER service from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts provides on-line access to U.S. Appellate, District, and Bankruptcy court records and documents. The petition, through the care2 petitionsite website ( reads as follows:

We ask the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to improve PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) by enhancing the authenticity, usability and availability of the system.


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Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law, Technology

Supreme Court Splits on Freedom of Religion and Driving Licence Photos

This morning the court released Alberta v. Wilson Colony of Hutterian Brethren, a decision that turns on whether Alberta’s driving licence requirements, which mandate photographs of licensed drivers to address identity theft breach the Hutterians’ Charter rights of Freedom of Religion.

The court split with Chief Justice McLachlin writing the majority judgment for herself and Justices Binnie, Deschamps and Rothstein. Strong dissent from Justice Abella, with Justices LeBel and Fish agreeing. The Court reversed the Alberta Court of Appeal and the Queen’s Bench, which had both struck down the Regulation in question.

“The goal of setting up a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology


A team of computer scientists from the University of Washington has developed Vanish, a program that lets you create an email or a document that will self-destruct at a given time. At the moment it’s still in the developmental stage, but you can download a trial copy that will enable you to use a Firefox plugin to create the various temporary documents. There’s also an online Vanish service if you’re leery of installing a trial app.

From what I can gather from the press release and an article in the New York Times, Vanish works by using an . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Article of the Future

The giant publisher Reed Elsevier (in whose capacious bosom LexisNexis rests) is experimenting with the form that a published scientific article takes online. The “Article of the Future” project, in beta, is an attempt to re-think the way in which a scientific article is presented, given the possibilities made available by information technology. At the moment there is a prototype that makes use of a couple of articles originally published in Cell, reformatting them in such a way that, among other things, graphics are more readily available and can be scaled, contents of the article are broken . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology

Think Ahead

“Optical disks are the most widely adopted storage medium in the history of the world.” And now, there is a version of the DVD that will not, according to this report, cease working after just a few uses.

I’m pretty sure its not just me: don’t your DVDs typically stop playing halfway through, requiring you to get up off the couch and re-start the show, the software, or even your computer? Not to get too ranty, but I’ve tried switching out disks, drives, and computers, but I still get the same buggy performance. Now that VCRs are officially out . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Facebook Privacy Report by Privacy Commissioner of Canada

In May 2008, University of Ottawa law students and The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) in Ottawa filed a complaint with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada over alleged poor privacy practices by social networking site Facebook. The office of the Commissioner has released its report today. The three biggest concerns found:

  • Facebook’s explanations of privacy are confusing and incomplete;
  • Facebook applications allow application developers access to private information where it is not necessary; and
  • when a Facebook account is deactivated, Facebook still retains personal information. This is in contravention of Canada’s privacy law
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Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Texting, Dictionaries, and Keeping Up.

I am the very proud parent of two lovely teenage daughters. The Mireau Giggles do not have their own cell phones, much to their dismay. Some day soon they will both have steady employment and I am sure phones are high up on the purchases priority list. As an aside, I had no idea that I was being mean as I MOS my kids while they email in our shared family office.

Rather than MYOB [mind your own business], a careful parent (or a lawyer trying to decipher instant message transcripts) will be happy to know there is a texting . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology

How to Succeed in the Practice of Law When You Are “Suddenly Solo”

The latest issue of Law Practice Today (, the ABA Law Practice Management’s webzine was published today. This blockbuster issue has all sorts of great articles for the “suddenly solo” lawyer. This is new lawyer starting out as a solo because they didn’t get a job at a firm, or someone leaving a firm to continue a practice on their own. Many of the top names in law practice management have contributed articles to this issue: Dennis Kennedy, Jim Calloway, Andy Atkins and Mark Robertson.

Read the Law Practice Today “Suddenly solo” issue here.

Law Practice Today is the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

Supreme Court of Canada Live Webcasts: Preliminary Comments

The Osgoode Hall Law School blog The Court today published a commentary on live webcasts by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Since February 2009, the Supreme Court has provided live streaming of oral arguments and judges’ questions in authorized cases. The webcasts are archived.

On The Court, Daniel Del Gobbo writes favourably of the experience:

“Observers may be emboldened by the transparency of the Supreme Court’s new initiative, the comprehensibility of oral arguments, or the sensitivity of justices in asking questions. Further, observers may better understand that the process by which the court’s decisions are made involves an

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Posted in: Technology

LCO More Adventurous With Technology!

We recently tried something new with our consultation process and we’ll likely do it again. Lauren Bates, head of our project on developing a coherent approach to the law as it affects persons with disabilities, participated in a web based consultation with the assistance of Citizens with Disabilities – Ontario. Citizens with Disabilities provides on-line conference rooms that can accommodate various size groups for meetings, courses and interviews, among other uses, through their on-line Conference Centre. Apart from the convenience of format, there is the obvious advantage of accessibility. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

CRTC Hearings Continue

The CRTC hearings we reported on previously were supposed to have finished yesterday, but according to the CBC actually continued today. See: Internet throttling benefits customers: Rogers, Shaw (, July 13, 2009). The CRTC apparently postponed Bell Alliant’s appearance at the hearing until this morning.

Additional sources are listed on my previous post here. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology